Trump already holds the reins to a broad network of business interests, including more than 500 companies across the United States and with ties to at least 18 foreign countries, according to an analysis by The Post of Trump financial disclosures released in May.

The pledge also does little to tackle an issue of bipartisan concern: the hundreds of millions of dollars in debt Trump and his companies owe to lenders, including big banks in China and Germany. Those debts, ethics advisers said, could influence his political commitments or fuel questions about his policies.

The core revenue stream of Trump's real estate and licensing business has for years thrived on new deals: development partnerships, branding agreements and other lucrative arrangements based on the leasing of the Trump name to merchandisers and investors.

Many of Trump's existing business holdings could depend on new deals to stay afloat, including deals with banks to refinance loans or with companies leasing space in Trump properties. Even with a "no new deals" pledge, ethics advisers said, those established projects could still provide a channel for those seeking to curry favor with the Trump White House or influence political outcomes.


There is no law that would force the president to sell off his business interests or seclude them in a blind trust, run by an independent overseer with unimpeachable control. But every president over the past 40 years has followed a tradition of drawing a line between the Oval Office, their families and their financial interests.


Many of the companies remain a mystery. During Trump's presidential campaign, he filed registrations for eight companies with names suggesting a hotel deal in Jiddah, the second-biggest city in the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which Trump has said he "would want to protect."

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